Scott Hodge


Welcome to Optimism!

Sep 28, 2005

I don’t know who these people are or how I found their blog, but I absolutely love how positive and upbeat they are!  Their organization (which I’m guessing is design or marketing) looks like it would be a great place to work.  Of course, the fun could be because most of their pictures show them drinking beer.  Not sure… 

But anyway…every time I read their blog it makes me ask myself what I am doing to create a fun, creative and optimistic environment in my workplace.  I know that a lot of it has to do with the consistent attitude displayed by the leader – but I also believe that there are very intentional things we can do to create fun, creative and optimistic environments in our workplaces. 

What about sounds, colors, and smells?  How do those play into all of this?

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Color the walls. 

I propose a revolution against plain, white walls.  There are still too many of them in our organization.  I hate them.  They smell of a boring, corporate, stiff-necked environment.  And more than anything, they don’t reflect who we are at The Orchard.

2.  Play some music.

A dead, silent office is B O R I N G and very non-motivating.  Why not have background music playing all day in the hallways, lobby and offices (Perhaps a little Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, or a little classical on a rainy day…)

3.  Brew Coffee. 

For real…  Nothing is as nice as the smell of freshly brewed coffee.  I love walking into The Orchard on Sunday morning and smelling the coffee emanating from our coffeehouse, Common Grounds.  It’s the best!

4. Create a story wall.

There is nothing that motivates and inspires more than stories.  Why not have a wall designated to team accomplishments and stories of changed lives?  And then…..on those days when it feels like nothing is happening, go sit in front of "the wall" and read.  Have a "selah" moment in front of the wall.

Ok – so now, it’s your turn.  How would (or do) YOU create a fun, creative, optimistic environment?

3 Responses to “Welcome to Optimism!”

  1. Other than just painting the walls, hanging art is always great for upping the atmosphere, I have a cheap print of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” hanging in my office and apart from it adding just that little bit of edge to the room, sometimes I can really relate to the guy in the painting.

  2. Gemma Grace says:

    I’d add a graffiti board beside the story wall. Place some coloured pencils, chalk, paint, markers or crayons (for example) handy to the board. Change the board from time to time and hang the ‘finished’ board somewhere else.
    Graffiti boards are great! They’re fun, colourful, creative, evolving, intriguing, collaborative, interactive. They speak the mood of the group and offer insightful feed-back.

  3. Mark Morgan says:

    When you walk into our office space you’ll see beach balls, basketballs, tennis balls, racket balls, soccer balls, footballs. Due to the fact that our building was formerly a warehouse, we have 44′ ceilings, our atrium is like an indoor flag football field or 4 basketball courts. Even in our office space the ceilings are 44′ tall. When we’ve all been working hard we let off some steam by throwing, kicking, shooting, hitting a ball. It usually starts with one or two of the guys, but it usually doesn’t take long for everyone to join in, including the girls. Often it turns into, “I’ll bet you can’t…” Even in a staff meeting you’ll often see me tossing a football or tennis ball, or spinning a basketball on my finger. That’s one way to make work more fun!

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